Archive for April, 2015

Buffalo Trace Distillery Named The World’s Most Innovative Whiskey Maker

buffalo trace statueWhisky Magazine recently awarded Buffalo Trace Distillery with the title of Innovator of the Year at the Whiskies & Spirits Conference in London. According to Whisky Magazine, the 240+ year-old-Distillery was named the World’s Best Whisky Brand Innovator due to its, “ …maintaining a continuous commitment to experimentation and research in the production of premium American Whiskeys,” said Managing Editor, Rupert Wheeler.

One clear example is Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey, which the Distillery produces once each year. Handy won top honors at the 2015 World Whiskies Awards when the rye whiskey was named the World’s Best American Whiskey. In addition, eight other whiskeys from Buffalo Trace won awards at this prestigious competition.

Over the years Buffalo Trace Distillery has become known for innovation and experimental whiskies, including the Single Oak Project. This experiment has been called the most extensive bourbon experiment ever undertaken and examines seven critical variables which resulted in 192 unique bourbons, currently being rated by whisky connoisseurs. Results and findings are expected to be released later this year.

The Distillery also just recently built and filled Warehouse X, an experimental warehouse comprised of four independently operating chambers that will allow specific environmental factors to be tested, to determine their effect on aging barrels. Although not quite a year into the first experiment, measuring how light affects barrel aging, already the Distillery has obtained valuable data.

In addition to Whisky Brand Innovator of the Year and Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye’s World’s Best American Whiskey designation, two whiskies received three American overall awards. Pappy Van Winkle thomas_h_handy_rye_2011Family Reserve 20 Year was the overall winner for Best Age Statement Bourbon and the overall winner for Best Bourbon, and Thomas H. Handy Straight Rye Whiskey was the overall winner for Best American Rye.

For Best Non-Age Statement Bourbon, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon received gold, Col. E. H. Taylor Jr. Single Barrel Bourbon received silver and William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey received bronze.

Col. E.H. Taylor Jr. Straight Rye Whiskey won gold for Best Non-Age Statement American Rye, and W.L. Weller 12 Year won bronze for Best Age Statement Bourbon.

The 2015 World Whiskies Awards and Icons of Whisky were announced at the Whiskies & Spirits Conference in London on March 19. Whiskies in each category were subject to rigorous blind taste testing to determine the best of each category. American Icons are determined following nominations from producers, retailers, distributors and importers, which are then voted on by those in the industry before Whisky Magazine’s editorial panel reviews the votes.

To determine the 2015 World Icons of Whisky, icons in America, Scotland and the rest of the world were voted on before the Whisky Magazine editorial panel was tasked with deciding the winner for each global title in the Icons categories.

For more information about the World Whiskies Awards visit www.worldwhiskiesawards.com and http://iconsofwhisky.com/.

Tags: , , , , , ,

No Comments

Bacardi Acquires Angel’s Envy Bourbon

Family-owned Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, has expanded its portfolio of super-premium spirits with the acquisition of Louisville-based Angel’s Share Brands, its subsidiary, Louisville Distilling Co., and its ANGEL’S ENVY™ brand. This deal marks the Company’s entry into the bourbon category of the North American whiskey sector.

“We have a clear strategy aligned to meet consumer needs in premium spirits and are building an even stronger portfolio through innovation and acquisition. The purchase of Angel’s Share Brands and the ANGEL’S ENVY portfolio further reinforces our commitment to growing the super-premium spirits sector,” said Bacardi Limited CEO Mike Dolan.angels_envy_bourbon1

ANGEL’S ENVY™ Port Finished Bourbon, the flagship brand, is one of the top ten fastest growing super-premium bourbons in the United States. The American straight category as a whole has experienced a resurgence in the past five years with a nearly five percent growth rate while the super-premium American straight segment has grown nearly 10 percent during the same time.

“Bacardi has a long history of successful acquisitions of cutting-edge brands. Bacardi looks for the gems of innovation in the spirits world to complement our premium and super-premium brands, and ANGEL’S ENVY is a natural fit for our portfolio. We are thrilled to add ANGEL’S ENVY, one of the most exciting brands in the North American whiskey category today, to our highly focused portfolio of iconic brands,” said Barry Kabalkin, Vice Chairman of Bacardi Limited.

ANGEL’S ENVY will continue as a standalone operation, meaning the business structure, employee base, production, distribution, commercial and marketing activities will remain unchanged. ANGEL’S ENVY’s new distillery and brand experience center in downtown Louisville is planned for a 2016 opening and will showcase the great tradition of Kentucky bourbon-making.

ANGEL’S ENVY was created by the late Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson, one of the original pioneers of the premium bourbon and whiskey categories in the U.S. and an inaugural member of the Bourbon Hall of Fame. The brand is hand-blended in small batches of 8 to 12 barrels. Each batch, or “expression,” is allowed to develop naturally, creating nuances in the bourbon from year-to-year.

“ANGEL’S ENVY, like Bacardi, was founded as a family-owned business driven by an entrepreneurial spirit. The secrets to crafting ANGEL’S ENVY have been well preserved by three generations of the Henderson family. Bacardi is well recognized for showcasing the unique heritage and origin of our brands, so I’m thrilled that the Henderson family, under the stewardship of Global Brand Ambassador Wes Henderson, will continue to be directly involved with the ANGEL’S ENVY brand,” said Bacardi Limited Chairman Facundo L. Bacardi, a fifth generation Bacardi family member.

The three expressions of ANGEL’S ENVY are currently available in on- and off-premise establishments throughout the United States. The award winning flagship expression of ANGEL’S ENVY™ Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in port wine barrels earned the highest-ever rating for a bourbon from Wine Enthusiast, ANGEL’S ENVY™ Finished Rye was awarded “Four Stars” and “Highly Recommended” by Spirit Journal, and ANGEL’S ENVY™ Cask Strength was named by Spirit Journal as “Best Spirit in the World.”

Terms of the transaction, closed on March 27, were not disclosed.

Tags: ,

No Comments

Maker’s Mark Set to Release 2015 Keeneland Bottle Featuring Adolph Rupp

makers2015ruppbottleA new commemorative Maker’s Mark bottle is being released that features Adolph Rupp and University of Kentucky blue wax. The bottle will help raise money to expand the Center for Academic and Tutorial Services (CATS) at the University of Kentucky. CATS helps support student athletes. They are hoping to raise a total of $2 million for CATS through contributions from Maker’s Mark and Keeneland, along with proceeds from sales of commemorative bottles

The bottle goes on sale on Friday, April 3. An autograph session will be held at Keeneland Friday morning, April 10, beginning at 8:00 a.m. The signing event features four of Coach Rupp’s All American players who are also in the Naismith Hall of Fame. They are Cliff Hagan, Dan Issel, Frank Ramsey, and Adrian “Odie” Smith.

There’s no charge to attend the signing event, but you have to have a ticket. They’re available at Keeneland at the Keene Barn beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, then be in line by 8:00 Friday morning.

Keeneland has pledged to match fundraising efforts, contributing $20,000 per year for the next five years.

No Comments